Millennials are often characterized by the digital age, but a recent survey conducted by the Washington Post about reading print as opposed to digital suggests otherwise.
In the fall 2014 survey, the Washington Post found that 87 percent of college students who purchased textbooks for their classes chose print instead of their digital counterparts.
“It depends on the setting,” Feinberg Library worker and Plattsburgh State Communication Disorders and Sciences major Alicia Janosky said. “For school, people would rather have a book in front of them, but if you’re going to the beach I see a lot of people have Ebooks.”
Janosky said she prefers reading in print because she likes the feeling of holding a book.
“I like being able to open it, see it and flip to the pages directly,” she said.
Visiting assistant librarian Lydia Willoughby said she believes there are perks to reading in print.
“Print resources that they (students) can use through the library are going to be the cheapest for them if we have the book available to check-out,” Willoughby said, “but I have seen students that really like how we can post articles on Moodle or being able to read things online in smaller doses that they can print out.”
Kathryn Hansraj, who has a bachelor’s in adolescence education with a concentration in English and Spanish, said she prefers print but also enjoys the accessibility of an Ebook.
“I like to highlight and make notes in the margins, but sometimes it’s just convenient to have the digital book instead,” Hansraj said.
Hansraj explained that she usually carries her laptop so E-books are more convenient for her.
“If I could have a hard copy, that would be awesome because I feel it would be so much easier, and I won’t get distracted as if it’s on an iPod or a Kindle,” said Criminal Justice major Llaney Hernandez. “I get distracted by other stuff, so if I have a hard copy in front of me that’s the only thing I focus on. There are no apps or notifications from Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat.”
One of the benefits of reading an Ebook can be the cheaper prices, explained Feinberg worker and Nutrition major Vanessa Fiore.
“You can get Ebooks on Chegg for cheaper than if you were renting it,” Fiore said.
Chegg.com is a popular website where people go to purchase discounted textbooks, receive homework help or look for internships and jobs.
Feinberg worker and Criminal Justice and Sociology major Joshua Richardson gave some insight as to why some students read digitally. “For something that’s not as important, you can read it online or on a tablet.” Digitally, he said he reads things like gossip, sports news and trends, but for school he sticks with print.
“Let’s say, if you’re studying for a test, I find that I learn the material best if it’s in print,” Richardson said.
However, as Willoughby said, there is a sense of nostalgia many people feel, whether reading for school or pleasure, that keeps people devoted to print.
“There’s a tangible love of a book. Books are really portable and universal and they’re cheaper than electronic devices,” she said.
Email Patrick Willisch at firstname.lastname@example.org